Murder for Hire: Colorado Family Recalls Living in Fear


"Chris was always distant," said Tammy Rafferty. "Chris was always in another room. When he was around us, it was always so intense. Almost like he was on something."

As the years went on, Amara Wells gave birth to her and her husband's only child, a girl. He was said to have adored his daughter while his relationship with his wife grew tense.

"He struck me as, you know, a guy who thought a lot of himself -- a very big ego," said Amara Wells' brother-in-law, Jack Brown. "He seemed to like to control the situation, whether in conversation or just interaction with Amara."

According to his family, Chris Wells was heavily involved in drugs, storing and using thousands of dollars of meth in his home, the same home he shared with his wife and young daughter, who ABC News is not naming to protect her identity.

Melissa Brown said her sister became scared of Chris Wells and afraid for her daughter.

"She was worried about her [daughter's] safety. She was worried about what he [Wells] could do," said Jack Brown. "You could sense he was very angry and that it was escalating to a completely different level."

To protect the young girl, Amara Wells took her daughter to the home of Robert and Tammy Rafferty. Over the years, Tammy Rafferty had become close with Amara Wells and said that she felt obligated to protect her sister-in-law from her own brother.

"Bob and I were adamant about her coming to live with us," Rafferty said. "It wasn't an option to go home, 'cause we were worried about her safety."

Melissa Brown said life started to get back to normal for Amara Wells and her daughter after they moved in with the Raffertys. The daughter was attending school and the mother had just started a new job at a bank.

However, Chris Wells was furious at the living arrangement, as he was angry that his wife left and took their only child.

"[Chris Wells] called and said, 'I just want to let you know that I packed up everything she has and left it at the bottom of Tammy and Bob's driveway," Melissa Brown said. "All of the sudden I heard [Amara Wells] scream. She was standing there holding her wedding dress and he urinated across it and wrote a profanity."

According to police reports, Amara Wells received a restraining order against her husband. He was arrested four times for violating the restraining order, but was bailed out with the help of his friends each time.

Melissa Brown said nothing would stop Chris Wells from coming after his wife and that the police couldn't do anything about it.

"She [Amara Wells] said, 'I think he's going to kill me,'" said Brown. "And the police officer looked at me, and he said that he [Chris Wells] is not going to stop until he puts a bullet in your sister's head. At that point, I knew. I knew it was going to happen."

"We were getting contacted from Amara saying she's afraid that Mr. Wells is going to come kill us," said former Douglas County Prosecutor Brett Cochran. "There was really nothing the police could do."

Deadly Escalation

On the night of Feb. 23, 2011, as she sat in a hotel room during a business trip, Tammy Rafferty got a call she said she will never forget. Police were at her home and her husband and sister-in-law were dead.

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